Using APA 6th ed. - Citations

1. An overview of citation (in-text referencing)

2. Citing Acts of Parliament

3. Citing an author with more than one publication in a year

4. Citing an author whose name begins with a lowercase letter

5. Citing Asian authors

6. Citing authors with the same surname, but different initials

7. Citing organisations as authors and using an abbreviated form

8. Citing page numbers in Roman numerals

9. Citing two or more page numbers or sources in the same sentence

10. Citing works with more than one author

11. Citing works with no author

12. Do I need to cite the same source each time I refer to it, even if it is in the same paragraph?

13. Using a work discovered in another work

14. Using quotations


1. An overview of citation (in-text referencing)   [Index]

Please note that whilst many departments (e.g. School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, School of Languages and Area Studies) require page numbers to be included in all citations (in-text references), others (e.g. Department of Psychology, School of Education and Continuing Studies) require only direct quotations to include a page number.  Note that the Business School requires page numbers for all direct quotations and for all paraphrases which are short sections from a longer work. 

Please check your course or unit handbook for the policy in your department. If you are still unsure, include them. Many electronic sources do not provide page numbers. If paragraph numbers are visible, use them in place of page numbers (using the abbreviation para.), e.g. para. 582. Alternatively, cite the chapter or section, followed by the paragraph number (if appropriate) e.g. Chapter 4, para. 3). 

The key point is that your in-text reference matches whatever comes first in the entry in your reference list so that whoever is marking your work can quickly locate the item you are referring to. Each source referenced must appear in both places and the citation and reference list entry must be identical in spelling and year. 

Citations are included in your work in the following ways:

Stevenson (2003, p. 116) argues that ...

... concerns about individual viewer responses (Stevenson, 2003, p. 118).

Whoever is reading your work can now turn to the reference list and look for an entry by Stevenson, written in 2003.

You need to include the author, year and page number/s (where applicable) for all citations your work, e.g.

Education "is permanently near the top of the political agenda in France" (Cole, 2001, p. 707).

If you have already mentioned the author's name in your sentence, you do not need to repeat the name in brackets at the end, e.g.

Cole argued that education is a constant and prominent issue on the French political agenda (2001, p.707).


2. Citing Acts of Parliament   [Index]

Acts of Parliament should be cited in your text with the full title, including year of enactment

According to section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 ...


3. Citing an author with more than one publication in a year   [Index]

When an author, corporate author, editor or group of authors/editors, has more than one publication in the same year a lower case letter is added to the date, e.g.

... it has been suggested (Harding, 1986a, p. 80) that ...

... for which evidence has been brought forward (Harding, 1986b, p. 24).

In two recent studies (Harding, 1986a, p. 80; Harding, 1986b, p. 138) it was suggested that ...

In two recent works Harding (1986a, p. 80; 1986b, p. 138) has suggested that ...

This is how they will look in the reference list:

Harding, S. (1986a). The instability of the analytical categories of feminist theory. Signs, 11(4), 645-664.

Harding, S. (1986b). The science question in feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

This can also be used when there is no author and the title is identical.


4. Citing an author whose name begins with a lowercase letter   [Index]

Most author names are capitalised in APA because they are proper nouns e.g. Smith, B.L., Jones, F. A etc.

However, some names begin with lowercase prefixes like de, d’, van or von. Write the names as the author has presented it in their work.

For example:

To examine the impact of the use of ceftriaxone on children, von Martels, van de Meeberg, Holman, Ligtenberg, and ter Maaten (2013) reviewed laboratory results.

Ceftriaxone therapy in children can cause side effects (von Martels, van de Meeberg, Holman, Ligtenberg, & ter Maaten, 2013).

However, capitalise the name if it begins a sentence, for example:

Von Martels, van de Meeberg, Holman, Ligtenberg, and ter Maaten (2013) reviewed laboratory results …


Keep the author’s original capitalisation in the reference list entries:

von Martels, J. Z. H., van de Meeberg, E. K, Holman, M., Ligtenberg, J. J. M., & ter Maaten, J. C. (2013). Pseudolithiassis after recent use of ceftriaxone: An unexpected diagnosis in a child with abdominal pain. American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 31(8), 1294-1296.


References from social media may have an author whose name begins with a lower case

For example:

uoplibrary. (2016). Here's to a bright and sunny Tuesday in #portsmouth [Instagram]. Retrieved from
Keep the author's original capitalisation in the in-text citation, for example:
... (uoplibrary, 2016).



5. Citing Asian authors   [Index]

Guidance from Singapore Polytechnic Library

Chinese names

Authors: Sunny T.H. Goh and Khoo Kheng-Hor
Goh, S. T. H., & Khoo, K. H. (2003). Marketing wise: An unconventional approach to strategic marketing for Asia. London: Prentice Hall.
The main purpose of an advertisement is to win sales, not awards (Goh & Khoo 2003).

Malay names

Author: Rindra Mohktar bin Ramli
Rindra Mohktar (2002) found that the most common and popular electronic information resource was the Internet.

Indian names

Author: Hiru Bijlani
Hiru (1999) recommends providing training programmes for managers who do not have experience in the global marketplace.

Author: G. Sivalingam
Sivalingam, G. (2005). Competition policy in the ASEAN countries. Singapore: Thomson Learning.
There are many competing and conflicting theories of what determines the price or value of a stock (Sivalingam 1990).

Sikh names

Author: Ranjit Singh
Singh, R. (2007). Mac OS X internals: A systems approach. New Jersey: Addison-Wesley.
Singh (1990) also describes group strategies as a set of individual strategies. However, the joint plans discussed in this paper include actions and plans performed by other agents or teams with appropriate synchronization.


6. Citing authors with the same surname, but different initials   [Index]

If a reference list includes two first authors with the same surname, but different initials, include the initials in the citation, e.g.

It has been argued (L. Jones, 2008, p. 145) that ... whereas P. A. Jones (2001, p. 46) suggests that ...

This leads the reader to the correct entry in the reference list, where L. Jones will preced P. A. Jones.


7. Citing organisations as authors and using an abbreviated form   [Index]

Where you have a document produced by an organisation and the organisation is commonly referred to by an abbreviation/acronym you should do the following:

In the citation (in-text reference) write out the name of the organisation in full the first time and give the abbreviation in square brackets, e.g.

... clearly stated policy (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], 2005, p. 24).

then subsequent citations can just use the abbreviation, e.g.

... measures to improve food supplies (FAO, 2005).

In the reference list spell out the name of the organisation in full, e.g.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2005). title of doc, etc.

Do not create an abbreviation or acronym if the organization is not commonly known by one.


8. Citing page numbers in Roman numerals   [Index]

Many books use Roman numerals for pagination in the introduction, starting the Arabic page numbering at the beginning of chapter one. If you wish to cite the introduction, you must use Roman numerals, if that is what the publisher has used. If you change them to Arabic, this will refer to the main body of the book. Thus (Smith, 2009, p. xiv) is how your in-text citation might look.


9. Citing two or more page numbers or sources in the same sentence   [Index]

To cite a range of pages, follow this example:

... was chaired by Lord Cullen. In total, 106 recommendations were made in the Cullen Report (Cullen, 1990, pp.387-399) ...


To cite multiple pages, follow this example:

Lettmaier (2010, pp. 54, 59) asserts that marriage ....


With multiple citations of sources, follow the order in your reference list. If you are citing two works by the same author(s) to make one point in the multiple citation, give the names once, and the date for each work, in date order, thus:

Recent research (Smith & Brown, 2004, 2006) suggests ... or

Recent research (Smith & Brown, 2004, p. 4, 2006, p. 25) suggests ...

If the articles were dated to the same year, you should have added letters to the year in your reference list, thus:

Recent research (Smith & Brown, 2007a, 2007b, 2007c) suggests ... or

Recent research (Smith & Brown, 2007a, p. 16, 2007b, p. 25, 2007c, p. 313) suggests ...

If the articles are by different authors, arrange them in alphabetical order of the first author, as in your reference list, separating each item by a semi-colon thus:

Recent research (Campbell, 2007; Jones & Evans, 2005; Smith & Brown, 2004) suggests ... or

Recent research (Campbell, 2007, p. 57; Jones & Evans, 2005, p. 201; Smith & Brown, 2004,

p. 14 suggests ...


10. Citing works with more than one author   [Index]

With two authors both names should be listed in each citation e.g. (Duncan & Goddard, 2003, p. 99).

With three to five authors, name all authors the first time, then use et al. (and others). For example: the first time it would be (Moore, Estrich, McGillis, & Spelman, 1984, p. 33) and subsequent references to the same publication would use (Moore et al., 1984, p. 33).

For six or more authors, use et al. after the first author in all occurrences. (American Psychological Association, 2002, section 3.95; American Psychological Association, 2010, section 6.12).

Note that when the citation occurs naturally within the sentence "and" should be used before the final author. But when the citation is enclosed in brackets the ampersand (&) should be used.

For the reference in your reference list, include up to seven authors. For eight or more authors, include the first six authors' names, then insert an ellipsis ( . . . ), and add the last author's name.


11. Citing works with no author   [Index]

When a source has no author, cite the first two or three words of the title followed by the year, e.g.

... in the recent book (Encyclopedia of psychology, 1991, p. 62) ... [for a book title]

... in this article ("Individual differences" 1993, p. 12) ... [for an article or chapter title]

Follow the second example for webpages where no author is given. Underline or italicise the title of a journal or book and use double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter.

However, if the author is designated as "Anonymous", cite the word Anonymous in your text e.g,

(Anonymous, 1993, p. 116).

Do not use "Anonymous" as an author unless it is designated in the work: works without authors are generally identified by their titles.


12. Do I need to cite the same source each time I refer to it, even if it is in the same paragraph?   [Index]

Your reader must not be left thinking 'where did this idea come from?' However, you can write in a way which implies that you are referring to the same source.  For example:

In his work, Smith (2007, p.56) finds that ... Smith goes on to refer to ...

If you are unsure, it is better to cite the source each time you refer to it, to avoid being accused of plagiarism.


13. Using a work discovered in another work   [Index]

If you haven't read the original source, you do not give the details of the original in your reference list, you just list the item which you have actually read. The only place where you mention the original source is in the text itself where you write something like:

Smith (1970, p.27) cites Brown (1967) as finding ...

Brown (1967), cited by Smith (1970, p. 27), found that ...

It was found (Brown, 1967, cited by Smith, 1970, p. 27) that ...

In your reference list, include Smith, but not Brown, the author whose work you have not seen. What you include in your reference list is what you have actually seen.

Harrison (2011, p.107) cites Marshall (1999); Thornton et al. (2004) ...

It was found (Marshall, 1999; Thornton et al., 2004, cited by Harrison, 2011, p.107) that ...

It is always best practice to locate the original source, if possible, and cite that directly rather than cite where it is mentioned in another text you have read. 


14. Using quotations   [Index]

Short quotations (fewer than 40 words)

Incorporate the quotation into the text of your work and enclose within double quotation marks. If the quotation appears at the end of a sentence, close the quoted passage with quotation marks and cite the source in brackets immediately after the quotation marks, e.g.

Although there is little law that affects the appraisal process "it can nevertheless have an indirect impact in that individual appraisal records inform decisions in the fields of promotion, payment, dismissal, access to benefits and access to training opportunities" (Taylor, 2002, p. 259).

He stated, "The relative importance of the systems may nevertheless remain in approximately the same proportion" (Gardner, 1973, p. 41).

Smith (1991) found that "... there is no evidence that chimpanzees can produce a drawing and discern the object represented in it ..." (p. 84).

Quotations of 40 or more words

Display in a separate block of text, omit the quotation marks and start on a new line. Indent the block by 1.3cm (0.5 inches ) from the left margin. The quotation should be double-spaced. At the end of a block quotation, cite the quoted source and the page number in the brackets after the final punctuation mark e.g.

In practice, the law does not intervene to any great extent in the performance appraisal process

itself, but it can nevertheless have an indirect impact in that individual appraisal records inform

decisions in the field of promotion, payment, dismissal, access to benefits and access to training

opportunities. (Taylor, 2002, p. 259)

Quotations with part omitted or material inserted

Use ellipses to indicate that you have left out material from a quotation. Type three full stops, with a space before and after each full stop, if the omitted words are within a sentence, e.g.

"Irrespective of which . . . is examined, clear evidence was obtained" (Roughan, 2000, p. 72).

Type four full stops to indicate omitted material between two sentences (a full stop for the sentence, followed by three spaced full stops . . . . ). Use square brackets to enclose material inserted in a quotation by some person other than the original writer, e.g.

"where [their own and others'] behaviours were analysed individually" (Roughan, 2000, p. 72).